Barrack-Room Ballads



(Field Marshal Lord Roberts of Kandahar: Died in France in 1914)

Rudyard Kipling

THERE’S a little red-faced man,
                 Which is Bobs,
Rides the tallest ’orse ’e can—
                 Our Bobs.
If it bucks or kicks or rears,
’E can sit for twenty years
With a smile round both ’is ears—
                 Can’t yer, Bobs?

Then ’ere’s to Bobs Bahadur—little Bobs, Bobs, Bobs!
’E’s our pukka Kandahader—
                 Fightin’ Bobs, Bobs, Bobs!
’E’s the Dook of Aggy Chell;
’E’s the man that done us well,
An’ we’ll follow ’im to ’ell—                 
Won’t we, Bobs?

If a limber’s slipped a trace,
                 ’Ook on Bobs.
If a marker’s lost ’is place,
                 Dress by Bobs.
For ’e’s eyes all up ’is coat,
An’ a bugle in ’is throat,
An’ you will not play the goat
                 Under Bobs.

’E’s a little down on drink
                 Chaplain Bobs;
But it keeps us outer Clink—
                 Don’t it, Bobs?
So we will not complain
Tho’ ’e’s water on the brain
If ’e leads us straight again—
                 Blue-light Bobs.

If you stood ’im on ’is head,
                 Father Bobs,
You could spill a quart of lead
                 Outer Bobs.
’E’s been at it thirty years,
An-amassin’ souveneers
In the way o’ slugs an’ spears—
                 Ain’t yer Bobs?

What ’e does not know o’ war,
                 Genial Bobs,
You can arst the shop next door—
                 Can’t they, Bobs?
Oh, ’e’s little but he’s wise;
’E’s terror for ’is size,
                 Do yer, Bobs?

Now they’ve made a bloomin’ Lord
                 Outer Bobs,
Which was but ’is fair reward—
                 Weren’t it, Bobs?
So ’e’ll wear a coronet
Where ’is ’elmet used to set;
But we know you won’t forget—
                 Will yer, Bobs?

Then ’ere’s to Bobs Bahadur—little Bobs, Bobs, Bobs,
Pocket-Wellin’ton ’an arder
                 Fightin’ Bobs, Bobs, Bobs!
This ain’t no bloomin’ ode,
But you’ve ’elped the soldier’s load,
An’ for benefits bestowed,
                 Bless yer, Bobs!

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